Involvement and intent to return of freshmen students from rural resource dependent communities and of natural resource students Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/td96k5877

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  • Students often have difficulty completing their college education. Some leave during their freshmen year, others later in their careers. Many factors contribute to the decision to withdraw, often relating to the individual student, or the institution. Literature indicates that the decision to withdraw is frequently based on student involvement. This study, conducted at Oregon State University, utilized the revised third edition of the College Student Experience Questionnaire by Pace, (1990) as the instrument for assessing student involvement. The study groups consisted of all freshmen students admitted in 1992 from rural resource dependent communities (RRDC) in the state of Oregon (N=37), a like sample of non-RRDC students (N=37) selected from the balance of the freshman class that year, and natural resource (NRH) majors (N=26) and non-NRH (N=128) selected from a random sample of all students admitted to the university in 1990, 1991, and 1992. This study postulated that students socialize differently in RRDC and, consequently, differ in their involvement in academic and social activities on campus. Further it posited that departments vary and consequently students in NRM would exhibit more involvement in the college experience. No significant difference in involvement was found between RRDC students and their cohorts. However, ninety-four percent of the non-RRDC students lived in college housing during their freshmen year, while forty percent of the RRDC students lived off campus. About twenty-two percent of RRDC students indicated that they were not planning to return to O.SU. in the Fall, while less that seven percent of the non-RRDC students planned not to return. Quality of effort varied significantly between NRX and non-NRM students, however no consistent difference was found. Non-NRM students rated higher factors about Art, Music and Theater, Student Union and Personal Experiences, while NRM students rated higher factors about Science and Technology, Relationships with faculty members, and gains in understanding science and in specializing for further education. A discriminant analysis done on the entire response group (N=l54) to determine which of the variables best discriminated those who intended to return and those who did not resulted in supporting the hypothesis that satisfaction is a powerful discriminator of intent to return.
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